I’ve been working hard over the last month or so to create patterns for all of my hexie quilts and projects, and I finally finished them all! I have them up at Craftsy.com where they might be seen a bit more than here. I’m really happy with the work I put in, I think they’ll be good.
It was interesting going back in time and looking at my notes to how to do certain things, and how those things evolved over time. I really do love working with the hexie shape!
Do you EPP? Which one would be your favorite? Leave a message below telling which pattern you’d choose and why. I’ll do a random drawing for a winner who will get the pattern of their choice in a digital .pdf format! Drawing will be on September 5, 2017.
Hey… just wanted to put out a heads up that I added my Jellyfish Hexie Quilt as a print at Society 6.
Today they are having a limited sale of free shipping plus 20% all items if you use this link: SOCIETY 6 SALE
I just finished a quilt too! I’m washing it tonight and giving to its recipient soon, there will be pictures for sure very soon.
I went to the show yesterday with my friend Juline who also had 3 quilts in this show. In fact, I saw many quilts there made by people I actually know, it was so great… the whole show was fantastic! I think there were over 650 quilts displayed – and no stinky carpets! I got a few photos of the quilts that stood out to me at the show, I have them posted below, as there are quite a few. There were even more photos – but some didn’t turn out well, so not all of my favorites are here. It was great to see so many supportive friends too – they made me feel like a rock star!
My Green Cross Quilt was also at the show – and it was sparking all sorts of discussions, according to my friend Bill who was close enough to eavesdrop a little. He is a quilt collector and appraiser, so his opinion means a lot to me… and he thinks this quilt may get a lot of attention. Generally speaking, quilters are fairly conservative, so a quilt with a big pot leaf on it could be a little shocking to some. But I have already received quite a few emails from quilters who *quietly* loved it. That makes it a conversation piece, and I’m happy to be the one to start the conversation: I love cannabis… and I smoke every day, and have for years. AND… I’m an active part of my community, a business owner, a proud parent, and an ex-addict who has used it to get off real drugs. This is my experience, not everyone is the same… but, for me, it’s a life-saver. Hence the quilt.
Another fun peak this week was co-winning the in-store Game of Quilts Challenge sponsored by BadAss Quilters Society and Spool. WOW – what a fun project, and the quilts all looked so amazing – I wish I could have been in Tennessee to see the show! Big Congratulations to the online winner: DonnaMichele Toyama, and to my co-in-store-winner: Teri Henderson Tope!
To top off my big week in the quilting world, I bought a brand new Juki 2010Q sewing machine!! I’ve been saving for over a year, and with my winnings from the Jellyfish Quilt, and a good deal at the NWQE show, I was able to take the plunge and bring one home. Compared to my old Singer, it’s like going from coach to first class! What made it super fun was purchasing at the same time as Juline and having a friend to share in the excitement at the exact same time. Right now, I’m having a hard time writing this post, because I just wanna sew!
So, for now, here are some of my favorites from the show:
2+2 Colleen Wooton
7733 – AnnMarie Cowley
Abigail – Joann Blade
Abigail Close up
Amethyst& Marcasite – Juline Bajada
A River Runs Through It – Wendy Bennett
A Tribute To Pucci – Linda Reinert
Autumn Meadow – Heather Davidson
Catch A Falling Star – Dawn White
Color Me Quilted – Coleen Barnhardt
Diatom 7 – Carla Stehr
ee cummings Most this amazing – Catherine Beard
Farmer’s Wives Aliens – Brandy Rodriquez
Fern Rising – Claudia Pfeil
Fern Rising Close up
Friendship Star – Jeri Bonser
Gardenia – Elisa Corcoran
Groovy Jeans – Julia Jeans
Inchworm – Juline Bajada
Klimt in Jewel Tones – Penny S Hanscom
Klimpt in Jewel Tones Close up
Ladies Who Lunch – Rachel Kerley
Lava Flow – Victoria Gordon
Lilies – Catherine Beard
Magic Carpet – Christina Cameli
Mirage – Bonnie Bucknam
Modern Denim – Beverly Woodard
Mod Pods – Pat Jones
Oxidation – Sidnee Snell
Pick Up Sticks – Cindy Settle Cline
Helix, Tropical Moons, and Dip And Dots – Michel McDowell
I brought the Jellyfish to my guild meeting last night for the first unveiling of it being totally finished… so now I can share here!
Jellyfish Hexie Quilt – Finished. Hand pieced, quilted, knotted, and bound.
What a thrill to have it completed. I was just talking to a friend about how I never used to be able to finish or follow through on anything… so this is really a step up for me personally. It’s the follow-though I’m most proud of… but it sure is pretty to look at too!
Here are some close-ups:
I tied a bunch of French Knots into this quilt – they look like bubbles and from a distance look like part of the fabric. They add so much depth and texture, I just love them. I had planned to quilt all the “water” with French Knots, but I changed my mind and used them sparingly and quilted it all with a fine silk thread.
Here is the right side with even more French Knots
This is the lower left side – I love those little bits of red in the “water”. You can also see the French Knots I used to ‘quilt’ the border white and cerise hexies.
I call this part “algae” because it ended up looking like something else floating in the water… maybe some food for the Jellyfish…?
This is the head – I used even more French Knots and lightly quilted it.
Here is the back… you can see a little more of the quilting here. Since I used a 100# silk thread, it’s barely visible, which gives the water a wonderful ripple-effect.
I used wool batting so it all fluffed up really sweet – shows the quilting so nicely. I’m totally hooked. I plan to use wool batting whenever I can, it’s dreamy to work with.
I have about 750 hexies made for my next project. I’m unsure as to what exactly I plan to make, but I just can’t stop making them – I’m hooked.
I’m trying something new: binding by hand. I figured since this whole (jellyfish) quilt has been stitched by hand, it would be inconceivable to use a machine to stitch down my binding!
I started by sewing the binding to the top of my quilt, just like if I was using a machine. I actually went around the whole quilt twice to make my stitch length short and hold the binding tighter to the quilt. I kicked ass at eye-balling a 1/4″ stitch!
basic technique for binding finish
I’m currently working on stitching the binding to the back… I’m about half done. By hand stitching, I have more control over the fabric and I was able to get beautiful mitered corners:
I’m so excited to be this close to the finish line! After the binding, all I have left is a hanging sleeve and a label. Then it will be onto my ever-growing list of machine-sewing projects… so many ideas… so little time!
It is gorgeous out today here in Portland – sunny and warm for February. It’s not the norm, but I’ll take it!
Since joining the Portland Modern Quilt Guild, I have made some friends who are amazingly talented. They are inspirational and they have taught me so many things over the last 5 years. So I was thrilled to hear that our own Rachel Kerley won 2nd place for her “The Dishes Can Wait” Quilt at Quiltcon this week in applique! Congratulations! She has been a good friend and quilting mentor – shit… she was the one who showed me how to make hexies. Enough said!
Speaking of which, I’m almost done with the Jellyfish!! It’s all quilted, I’m just adding a few more French Knots, then I’m hand stitching the binding on. OMG so close!
The right side of the Jellyfish head is still being worked on, otherwise the rest is finished, and this is what the quilting is looking like:
Jellyfish Hexie Quilt – Progress shot – hand quilting and French Knots
I quilted the water with 100# silk thread, so it’s almost invisible. I’m using DMC pearl cotton for the French Knots and stitches in the head. I wasn’t quite sure how this was all going to turn out, but…
I LOVE IT. I can’t wait to show it at the next PMQG meeting in March.
After many tutorials, I’m trying to hand quilt my Jellyfish Hexie Quilt. It’s been quite a process of decision-making to figure out my plan of action. In the picture above you can see some of my quilting… and I have to be honest, it’s not as good as I would like it to be. My stitches are a little too far apart. Here is a close up:
Quilting the Jellyfish
I’m using a silk thread that was given to my by my friend Rachel who has been using it for her awesome appliquéd quilts. I love using it, it doesn’t fray or knot up at all… and it’s fairly invisible. My problem comes in when “rocking” my needle. I just can’t take small stitches! I figure it must be all the seam allowances making it difficult. Anyhoo… I’m going for it regardless! Sometimes you just need to do things, even if it’s not perfect.
I am thrilled with how my French Knots are turning out – I’m using them as “bubbles” in the water and will probably be adding more once I finish the quilting. I WAS going to only use French Knots to quilt this, but I thought it might look too messy, so I changed the plan.
French Knot “Bubbles”
I’m still working on ideas on how to quilt the actual Jellyfish… I think an idea will present itself when I’m ready to work on that part. For now, I’m just stitching away – I’m about 1/3 of the way through the “water” with quilting as is, although I may go back over all my stitches and add more. I just thought I’d share something to show how much of a learning curve I go though with each quilt I make.
While I was hoping to have this quilt finished by the end of this year, I’m still happy to be where I’m at. Happy New Year everyone!
Oh how I do love finishing a quilt! Time for a little celebration, and right now, I’ll take any reason to celebrate:
Braces Quilt Front
I made the pattern from the block I entered in the GenQ Magazine Block Builder Challenge in June this summer. It really felt great following through on this project. I’m thinking of drafting this pattern… any interest?
And here’s how the back turned out:
Braces Quilt Back
I really love piecing all the leftovers from the front to make a back… although I spend more time on the backs than the fronts sometimes. What is really cool about this quilt is that thanks to a friend who has one, I got to use a real longarm to do the quilting!! It was my first longarming experience and I think I did okay… but actually quilting on it helped me understand how to rethink my quilting options for this machine. It is a very different process than using a domestic machine. Here’s a close-up:
I just mimicked the block pattern for the quilting, and free-handed it all. I really like how it came out… for my first try. I’m looking forward to building this skill set as much as possible. The best part about it is that no basting was required!
So now that THAT is finished, I’ve started a gift for the PMQG holiday swap… we exchanged fabrics at our last meeting and I’m trying to use every little scrap to make a nice pillow 🙂 Can’t wait to share photos after our holiday party!
I’ve also secured a few spools of floss to start doing French Knots on the Jellyfish. Time to get busy!
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking on how to baste and quilt my Jellyfish. I decided to thread baste it because I don’t want to use spray glue and since it’s planned home is as a wall hanging, I don’t think I’ll be washing it anytime soon. I didn’t pin baste it because I hate sewing around the pins.
I found this great video tutorial by Sharon Schamber who walks through all the steps of threadbasting. It took me about 2.5 hours to baste the quilt this way… so it is a bit of a time commitment, but not so bad. Probably would take close to that to pin baste it anyway. Here is the basted top:
And the back:
Here are the stitches on the back – they are about 1/2 – 3/4 inch stitches that seem to hold everything in place nicely.
Now I’m ready to start making a bunch of French Knots!! I will use them in the ‘water’ on this quilt and figure something a little different for the jellyfish itself. So happy to be at this point!
I’m also working on a back to my Braces quilt today – and loving my new lilac bushes we planted yesterday… they will make this ugly chainlink fence look sooooo much better.
Oh… I’m still following the Blood Sugar diet, not as strict as the first 10 days – so it’s much easier, and the meals in the cookbook are fantastic. I can’t say that about too many ‘good for you’ recipes! I should be going in soon to have my blood sugar tested to see if this is helping in any way. Either way, I’m doing good and happy to be eating much more nutrient-dense foods.
I’m going to show you yet another step in the hexie quilt process: Removing the paper pieces! Some people remove the inner papers as they go on a project like this, but I prefer to leave them all in until I’m finished with the quilt.
I work in rows so I don’t lose my place. You’ll notice I have a large seam allowance on the back so that the papers are totally covered. I like it like this. When I quilt it, all that extra fabric will boost puffiness and texture.
I start by using a seam ripper to snip the basting thread near the beginning knot
Then I use a wooden skewer or toothpick to pick out the basting thread
Then I use the skewer to stick in and through the hole I punched in the paper and…
I waited to post pics until I had showed this to my guild last night – I was really excited to show it in person – the PMQG is the best group ever! I’m very happy with how it turned out, the colors are vibrant and the background works. My favorite parts are the “bubbles” in the background… and how it looks almost glow-in-the-dark in some areas… and so many friends donated scraps for this quilt. Every time I look at it, I’m reminded of the extremely sweet people in my life.
This was started January 14, 2014 – today is September 19th… so nine months of work so far. There are 2373 1/2″ hexies in this piece, and I used (re-used) papers from Paperpieces.com Now it’s time to think about quilting. So much to ponder…
Time to break out a new pattern from my idea list. The plan is to follow up on the block I did for a GenQ Magazine block builder challenge they had in June. The name of my block is “braces” because that’s what I see when I put a few of them together.
It took about 4 hours to figure out how to put the block together, how I wanted to piece the blocks within the quilt, as well as pick and cut my fabrics.
Cut fabrics for Braces Pattern
After reading this blog post by Molli Sparkles about the value of quilts, and talking to other quilters, I’ve decided it’s important to keep better track of my time spent when sewing AND designing. It’s really important to know the value of your work – even if you decide to give it away… it’s important the receiver has an idea of what it’s worth. As craftspeople, designers, and artists – we as quilters need to become educators as well. Here is another great blogpost from Sam Hunter on great comebacks to those who still don’t understand the value in what we do… my favorite is:
“Can I get a quilt as a donation? It will be great exposure for you.”Did you know you can die of exposure?
So… based with these inspirational thoughts, I pulled out a timer and have it next to my machine – I’m all ready to chainpiece away until I get all my blocks made – I’m so curious to see how long it will take! I’ve always just guesstimated my time, it will be good to have an accurate account.
By the way, I’m still stitching my rows together on the Jellyfish – this is progress as of 8.23.14, I’ve gotten a few more rows done since. There is an All-Day-Sew for PMQG next Saturday, and I’m trying to work it so I can maybe finish it there! It would be super cool to finish with friends around, but I’m not going to get my hopes up yet – there is still a bit to do before the finish line.
I just found time to sew, and these two projects are competing for my attention.
Binding or hexies…?
I don’t know how people do this… I mean working on more than one project at a time. Making choices is so difficult for me. Usually, I just work on one thing at a time, but I can’t wait for my hexie quilt to be done, so now I’m juggling and trying to divide my sewing time evenly. It’s harder than I thought to divide my attention.
Good thing I’m almost done with the unbe-weevil-ble quilt, after it’s done, I can focus on the jellyfish for a bit and plan out my next machine-pieced quilt.
On a side note, in this world today, there is too much hate, too much greed, too much polluting, too much disease, too much violence, too much inequity, too much despair, too much war and death to bother with specifics. I’ve been meditating on peace daily and I wish peace to you and every other human out there. ((((universal hugs)))))
I got a little bug up my butt to finish my “Unbe-weevil-ble” quilt last weekend, and I was super productive by focusing on it as if it were a job. I gave myself two days to finish the quilt back, and I got it done! Here it is on the floor, taking up even more space in our living room.
You can see the Jellyfish sitting up on a design board on a table above the quilt back I’m working on. That top area is all stitched up, I’m ready for the next row of hexies – I’ll be bringing it to the PMQG meeting tonight, along with the stuffed round blue guy I stole from my daughter to use as a work surface.
I had yet to baste a quilt in my new house. Figuring out how to baste that big quilt proved to take a bit of time in problem solving. I ended up sticking with spray baste, which is my favorite basting method, and just laying out bed sheets to catch any runaway spray. I did it on our basement floor which is carpeted and padded, so I couldn’t tack it down… but it still worked!
Started working on the quilting yesterday – it will take a little time, I’m just doing (somewhat) straight line quilting at an angle – I think it will look good, and I can do it on my Singer! Unfortunately, I will NOT be able to finish this quilt for the meeting tonight… next month!
Sewing the strips together takes the most time of all the steps in this project. It is also the most rewarding. Every stitch is adding a bit more to the quilt! I whip stitch the rows together from the backside of the quilt – you can see the stitches in the photo above, and in this photo of the front, you can see how those stitches are barely visible.
stitches on front
Beyond sewing, I’ve been working a lot this summer! Our business is ‘off the hook’ busy right now so I haven’t had much time to sew. Sad face. However, I did have one great idea for a quilt design this week, and if I have time, I’m going to whip up a new machine-pieced quilt top inspired by an Akira Kurosawa film I just watched. I also have to finish the back of my Unbe-weevil-ble quilt.
So much to do, and so little time. I bet I’m not the only one with a to-do list a mile long!
YAY! I finished sewing all the rows in the Jellyfish quilt this weekend! I was lucky to take the whole day on Saturday and sew. I spent most of the day with my quilty friends at the PMQG All-Day-Sew and was able to get a lot done, then I came home and finished up the last few (very small) rows.
I’m starting with the top corner and will work my way down. When I stitched the rows together I used a ladder stitch, now to connect the rows, I use a whip stitch.
This is the fun part! Each little stitch builds the quilt. I already have the small corner done and it’s sooo exciting! I started this project in January, and am really happy with the progress – I hope to have the quilt fully completed by the end of the year.
Thanks to my new quilty friend, Sam, I was turned onto something called Thread Heaven. It’s a thread conditioner made of silicon… and it really helps keep the thread from knotting up. I think it’s helping me stitch a little faster too – I highly recommend it!
I’m hoping my progress with the hexies goes fast so I can dig into some new fabric and machine sew a few things. I’ve been big into dots… and I’ve always liked tone on tone prints. It’s hard to have these out and not be using them yet.
The cerise with white dots is for the back of the Jellyfish – I think it will be perfect. Now that I’m at this phase of the project, I can start considering the kind of quilting I want to do… French Knots will certainly make another appearance!
These last two weeks just flew by while I’ve been stitching the Jellyfish together! I’ve had a few people ask how I stitch my hexies, and I use two different styles. To sew my rows together, I use a ladder stitch, to sew the rows together, I use a whip stitch.
I’m not quite ready to start stitching row to row, but I thought I’d share how I stitch the hexies into rows:
First I tie a knot a little left of center below the stitch line, then I take a small stitch and run my needle up and out, now I’m ready to grab my next hexie
I put the hexies together with the WRONG sides together and a ladder stitch out to the end of the first hexie.
Then I flip my hexies over and ladder stitch all the way to the other end
I flip the hexies one more time and stitch back to just left of center
I ‘open’ the hexies and put the needle to the back – right where the last stitch was. I don’t pick up any fabric here – if you do, that stitch might be visible
On the back side I take a small stitch on the new hexie where the needle came through
and tie a knot and run the needle under the knot to the other end of the hexie where I start the process again
For me, this leaves no thread showing on front, and the seam is nice and tight with no knots on the ends. This leaves those points nice and open for when I sew the rows together
So, this has been what I’ve been doing with my free time. Not too exciting, but the progress has been good and steady.
I’m at a point in the Jellyfish Hexie quilt where all I want to do is sew… so I’m making pretty good progress! In a few days I’ll have half the hexies stitched into rows – once the diagonal rows are done I can put it all together! Here are more process shots:
Jellyfish Hexie Quilt – bottom portion sewn into strips
Jellyfish Hexie Quilt – starting a “roll” of hexies
Jellyfish Hexie Quilt – an open “roll” of hexies ready to be rolled
Jellyfish Hexie Quilt – rolling hexies up in batting and fabric strips
Yesterday I was able to attend the All-Day-Sew that the PMQG sponsors every month. It’s pretty sweet… now that I moved, I’m feeling pretty lucky in that I can walk to the fabric store where it’s held!!
It was really fun – we have such a great group of people. Of course, I forgot my camera, so no pics of the day – oh well. I do have a photo of all the pretty fabric I bought while I was there – the fabric store was having a 35% all fabric sale… and there were some sweet remnants too! My little brain is spinning with all the ideas I have for some of this:
Sweet new fabric score!
I also finished two long strips of my Jellyfish Hexie Quilt. I’m taking a photo with some dimes and quarters to over some of the stitched rows to show size. What do you think Miss Kory? Does this help?
Each piece is a bit bigger than a dime. Hexies are so cute… especially when they’re small – right?
The sun is out today, and I don’t have anything pressing, so I might take the opportunity to sit in the sun and stitch a few more of these together. My pace is at about 30 in a row per day. Not too bad.
To celebrate, I’m going to be posting some free downloads. You’ll find my Unbe-weevil-ble quilt pattern, and a file to print to cut your own 1/2″ hexie paper templates. I’ll be adding my layouts for the Squid and Dragon Hexie quilts soon too – kind of exciting to be able to give back a little!
Timing is on my mind as I feel I’m going very slowly on the Jellyfish Hexie Quilt… I’ve started sewing rows together from the bottom up. I’m sewing about 25 hexies together a day, so I am making some progress.
Missing rows are currently being stitched together – bottom right rows completed.
I figure it will take about 3 months to sew the rows and another 2-3 months to sew the rows to each other. Fingers crossed to finish this year! Here’s my layout sheet – you can see I make really good use of it for note-taking, counts, and a little math. I used a piece of cardstock for the dragon quilt… much better than regular paper.
Jellyfish Pattern – all marked up, and a row of stitched hexies.
Help me celebrate my big 200 by leaving me a comment. (comments make my day!) I’d love to know if you have done English Paper Piecing before, and if so – what was your first project… and how long did it take you to finish? If you’ve never tried EPP, what would you make if you did?
My husband and daughter are two of the most awesome people on this planet! Yep, I’m a little biased. But really, they are super supportive of everything… even my quilting projects and needs! They are currently letting me take over the living room as a place for my Jellyfish layout, making that room almost unusable. So sweet, especially since this layout is taking longer than expected.
Last week I picked up all the blues and re-laid them out… and I’m liking it a lot better. I just need to spend a bit more time on blending them, then I’ll be ready to stitch them all together! You can see my borders starting to fill out too – I only have a few more cerise hexies and half-hexies to make!!
Jellyfish Hexie Quilt Layout take 2
Speaking of my little family… they also have been super supportive in my health and eating habits! So much so, that this is what I got for Mother’s Day:
I am beyond THRILLED, and surprised – wasn’t expecting it! Super green smoothies will be a great addition to my diet. Plus many nut&fruit-based creamy desserts I can finally make… so exciting! It made the day pretty sweet.
Usually Mothers / Fathers Day just get me really depressed because I think of my own parents who disowned me when I was a teen. They are still alive, but we only speak maybe once every few years (me trying to get health history information) and it always ends up with many hurt, sad tears on both ends. They are completely crushed that I could “turn my back on God” by not being a certain religion… and I’m crushed they won’t respect me or my own beliefs. But… as my mother always says “We are right and every other religion is wrong, and until you understand that, you won’t understand anything.”
It’s been 20 years since I’ve seen my folks, 24 years since I’ve seen or heard from any of my four siblings. I think this is why I value family so much, even with issues – unconditional love is totally under-rated… but super appreciated around here!
At the last PMQG meeting, I was a lucky door prize winner. One of the awesome goodies was a 3-month subscription to Creativebug which is an online education site for all sorts of crafty-ness. It’s super cool! One of the classes offered is taught by my friend Susan Beal. It’s all about log cabin quilting. This first class centered on making a pillow… and here’s what I made:
My log cabin block
Close up of my center block using the new Brambelberry Ridge by Violet Craft
I think it took me about 2 hours from start to finish… including picking fabrics. I used some Violet Craft’s new line Brambleberry Ridge. The metallics make this a really fun pillow.
I followed Susan’s direction up to the quilting where I wanted to just play around with echo quilting – I think it gives it more of an organic feel which I like.
It was nice to take a break from hexies. I got a little frustrated with my layout the other day… so I just picked up all the blues and will start over. Since this is the most important part, I want to make sure I get it just right. I will also be making more blue hexies and pull aside some of the ones I don’t like. I’m sure I’m not the only one who gets frustrated and starts over… right? 😉